ROCKFORD, Ill. — Traverse City started off a three-game series with last-place Rockford by busting out the big bats.
The Beach Bums belted three home runs among six extra-base hits in a 12-10 slugfest win over the Aviators.
The victory extends Traverse City’s (36-22) East Division lead. Florence — which lost 10-7 to Joliet — is three games back.
Marcus Nidiffer led off the four-run second inning with a solo homer, Scott Woodward added a two-run triple and Vargas brought in Woodward with a sacrifice fly.
Taylor Wrenn belted a two-run homer in the three-run first inning, and Sean Gusrang’s two-run blast in the third put Traverse City up 9-1.
Carlo Testa’s fourth-inning double brought in Chase Burch and Wrenn for a 12-4 advantage.
Despite being staked 12 runs of offense, Jake Sabol wouldn’t get the win, lasing only 3.2 innings and giving up 10 hits and seven runs. Kyle Teague (2-2) was tagged for three more runs — only one earned — and striking out four in 2.1 frames before Burny Mitchem tossed a scoreless inning and Nick Capito picked up his ninth save of the season with two 1-2-3 frames.
All 10 of Rockford’s runs were scored by the No. 3-6 hitters. Matt Greener had three hits for the Aviators (19-38).
Gusrang, Wrenn and Testa had two hits each for the Bums. Both of Testa’s hits were doubles.